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Mysore Saaru


Mysore Saaru

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 4 people
  • Spice Level: Medium

Authenticity Slice

While the Madras Rasam uses cooked and mashed arhar dal, the Mysore Saaru is made using lentil stock, and is thus much lighter. The authentic way of ensuring the right consistency is letting the cooked and mashed dal rest for an hour or so before the watery stock can be skimmed off the top.

Trivia Tadka

The Mysore Saaru (rasam) has a distinct taste of pepper and methi dana (fenugreek) to it, though these two are not mentioned in the ingredients list because they are part of the MTR powder being used in the recipe here. ‘Saaru’ means ‘essence’ in Kannada, which by extension, means juice or soup. This popular soup is also known as ‘Kabir’, after a Kannadiga litterateur found this saaru to be as simple and inspiring as the 15th century mystic poet, and named the dish after him.


  • Split pigeon peas (arhar dal) (¼ cup)
  • Tamarind (imli), de-seeded (1 amla-sized ball)
  • Tomato, finely chopped (1)
  • MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (¼ tsp)
  • MTR Rasam Powder (2 tsp)
  • Coriander leaves (hara dhania), finely chopped (2 tbsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Oil (1 tsp)
  • Mustard seeds (rai), small reddish (¼ tsp)
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) (¼ tsp)
  • Curry leaves (kadipatta) (6 to 8)
  • Dry red chillies (sabut lal mirch), broken (2)
  • Asafoetida (hing) (a pinch)


  • Soak the imli in 2 cups of water. 
  • Wash the arhar dal thoroughly and transfer to a pressure cooker.
  • Pour in water up to 2 inches above the level of the dal. Add the haldi and half-a-tsp of oil and pressure cook the mix, timing it to 3 whistles. Let the steam escape naturally.
  • Mash the cooked dal. Then, let it rest till the solid lentils settle at the bottom of the pressure cooker. After about an hour, carefully pour out the dal water into another vessel.
  • Extract the juice from the soaked imli and transfer it to a kadhai. Add the chopped tomato and bring to a boil.
  • After 5 to 7 minutes of boiling, when the raw smell of the imli has gone off, add the dal-water to the mixture and let it boil for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the MTR Rasam Powder and let the mix boil for 5 more minutes, or until it turns frothy and starts to give off a heady aroma. Take off the flame and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a kadhai on a high flame for tempering. Add the rai, jeera, hing and kadipatta and allow the spices to splutter. Pour the tempering immediately over the saaru (rasam). Season with salt.
  • Garnish with hara dhania.
  • Serve piping hot with steamed white rice and pappadams.


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